ACCEPTING HUMAN MINISTRY
“Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’ But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be (so) now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.’ Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’” (Mt 3: 13-17)
St. John the Baptist was “sent from God” (Jn 1:6) for a specific ministry to the people; to “make straight the paths of the Lord” in the people’s hearts, by calling them to “the baptism of repentance” or “metanoia,” a change of mind/focus (Lk 3:3), which involved the confession of “sin” or “missing the mark” (in Greek the word “sin,” “amartia,” means “missing the mark”).
Did Christ need a “change of mind” and hence a “baptism of repentance”? No, because He never sinned. But we do need it, time and again, because we lose focus and “miss the mark.” And we need the help of other human beings, the ministry of other human beings, in changing course and “repenting”; we cannot do this alone. So Jesus subjects Himself to John’s divinely-instituted ministry, as one of us. He shows us the importance of accepting the ministry of another human being, in this case John, in the whole business of “repentance,” which clears up or “makes straight” His paths, the paths of His baptism in the Spirit.
Today let me be open to the ministry of other people, because it is “well-pleasing” to my Lord, according to the will of His Father, in the Holy Spirit. Christ “let it be” this way even with Him, when He accepted the ministry of another human being. So let me “let it be” this way with me, in Him.